Giving Back to India with The Desai Foundation
The season of giving has arrived and we are here to share our Ayurvedic love near and far! That’s why, in celebration of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday (Wednesday, November 24th through Tuesday, November 30th), we are offering our largest sitewide sale of the year! Plus, with every purchase that is made, we will also be donating 5% of each sale to the Desai Foundation, a robust public and programmatic organization that works to deliver life-changing support to women and children living in India and the U.S.
The Desai Foundation was established in 1997 by Samir A. Desai and Nilima Desai with the goal to give back to the communities that had served and nurtured them- Boston, MA., Morningside Heights, N.Y., Harlem, N.Y. and their beloved Gurujat, India. The Desai Foundation’s goal was to support various organizations that focused on health, education and promoting Indian culture. After years of activism, the Desai Foundation began to take on larger leadership roles with the help of their partner organizations and, soon enough, they began developing social, health and environmental programs, expanding organizational services to broader regions and launching pilot programs to further the mission of positive, sustainable change.
Today, the Desai Foundation is a public foundation that has evolved and honed in on its mission- to empower women and children through health and livelihood programs and initiatives in India and the United States. Some of the programs the Desai Foundation is involved in include:
- Community Impact (CI), a student-run organization at Columbia University that serves underprivileged communities in New York City.
- Kids Health Camps and Hygiene Trainings for women and children that serve the regions of Untdi, Bharuch, Gandhinagar and all surrounding villages in India.
- Science and Math Secondary School for adolescents ages 11-16 years old in Untdi and 19 other surrounding villages including Malvan, Dharasana, Umarsadi, Jespore, and Dungri, India.
- Computer Classes for children and women in Palaj (near Gandhinagar), Untdi, Talangpur, Jhagadia & Vagra region in Bharuch district, India.
- Sewing Vocational Program for women in Talangpur, Kharel, Untdi, Gandhinagar, Dang & Bharuch, India.
The above-mentioned programs are only a handful of what the Desai Foundation is currently funding. Thus, in order for our donation to make a more significant impact, we decided to select one particular initiative that we felt especially drawn to, the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program.
We choose the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program due to its positive impact on the lives of both women and girls throughout rural India. This program provides economic opportunity for women by training them to manufacture and distribute sanitary napkins (pads) throughout the Valsad, Bharuch, Navsari District, Dang & Nanded Districts of India. Additionally, this initiative also works with adolescent girls to directly combat the stigma associated with periods that is prevalent throughout India, by providing the information and products that they so desperately need in order to be able to step into womanhood with confidence and pride.
In India today, there remains a lack of information available for girls about menstrual hygiene. For example, the Desai Foundation cites that 71% of Indian girls do not know what menstruation is until they experience their first period. It is also reported that more than 77% of women in India use an old cloth, newspaper or even dried leaves and husk sand to absorb menses. Unfortunately, this lack of adequate menstrual hygiene and access to sanitary napkins (pads) can lead to reproductive infections as well as significant dropout rates in school for girls after they have their first period. Thus, by providing access to sanitary pads and ensuring that girls are given the pertinent information and resources to understand and navigate their moon cycles through health and hygiene classes, group meetings and community-based awareness programs, the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program provides girls with the opportunity to stay in school, pursue higher education and achieve their long term dreams and goals.
As a woman-owned and operated business, we seek to empower all beings everywhere, especially when it comes to our fellow females! Thus, we are thrilled that, with your help, we can contribute to the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program and support their mission to provide jobs, secure education and eradicate period stigma in India. We believe that this is an important cause to support and that through this program’s call to action, females in India will be able to experience greater self-worth and empowerment, while also being provided with economic and educational opportunities. We thank you in advance for your generous contributions to this cause.
We are happy to report that the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program is continuing to expand into other regions of India and, in response to COVID-19, they have distributed over 445,000 free sanitary napkins in the regions that they serve. To learn more about the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program please visit their website.